Whirlwind week. Got back from the Thistle tour and immediately jumped into a bunch of performances. Played L'histoire du Soldat on Tuesday, followed that evening by a Lovely Socialite Mrs. Thomas W. Phipps performance for Honky Tonk Tuesday at Mickey's Tavern.
Here's an excerpt of us playing my tune, 'to float before sinking,' at that show:
The recording is a super low quality reference recording, but hopefully you get the sense from it that we had fun, because we did.
Next, I went on a mini tour this week with conspirators Anna Weisling, Jeff Herriott, and Eric Sheffield, as a project we're calling Sympathy Swimmers. We reworked Anna's, Eric's and my piece, exit crafting, to include Jeff, and the three of them had a piece called a scrape in the liquid, which we reworked to include me. We also conceived a new improvisation as the four of us to flesh out the set.
I feel super lucky to have these three as friends/collaborators. A good deal of my most artistically satisfying adventures of the last year and a half have been with/through them. (Fyi, their band, bell monks, has just release a great song.)
We played in Minneapolis on Thursday at Bryant Lake Bowl, supporting We Can and We Must. BLB is a bowling alley, bar, and theater. When I first heard of the place, I admit I thought it sounded dubious, (I generally have an aversion to bowling alleys) but it's actually a really cool space to perform. It would have been nice to have had more of an audience, but we had fun. We took the show back to Madison on Friday with a show at the Project Lodge.
We Can and We Must is a really awesome improvising electronics duo from Chicago/Beijing. Composers/performers/improvisors Ryan Ingebritsen and Jason Wampler brought an impressive energy to the stage, using a variety of live electronics, samples, live samples, programmed beats, and live drums and keyboards. Anna Weisling jumped on board with great aplomb to do visuals for them both nights, which was very impressive.
And then tonight! Local innovators New Muse coordinated another splendid event, a Vaudevillesque variety show at local gay bar Plan B. They asked Weather Duo to open the night, and we obliged.
We play again on Sunday, with a May Day performance at Crossroads Coffeeshop in Cross Plains.
And amidst all this running about, I've been rehearsing this week with singer/songwriter Page Foster, because I'm playing with her on June 4th at the Just Coffee warehouse. I'll also be playing a set with Thistle and the Thorns. Page had to teach me her tunes this week, because she's all cool and going to play some shows in New York throughout May.
Here she is playing on Mars or somewhere:
Drove into Madison early this morning through the rainy Wisconsin sunrise, returning home from the week-long Thistle and Thorns Earth Week tour. What a great week! It's really rewarding to be performing on the road. Through meeting some really great people, we explored farms and mansions around the midwest.
It was also great to spend a solid week performing Thistle's songs--I definitely gained a deeper appreciation for them by getting to explore them every night. She's one of those artists who does really important work.
Speaking of awesome music from Seattle, (see previous post) I had the great pleasure of performing on Wednesday with the stellar Seattle band Slow Skate. They have an impeccable sense of the sound world they create, which is filled with warm analog sounds and gorgeous vocals.
Through a measure of great luck, I get to perform in the same show as them again tonight, in LaCrosse, where I'm on tour with Thistle and the Thorns. I'm looking forward to hearing them again! You can follow our Earth Day tour here.
Performing with us this tour is vocalist Page Foster, who is a really great singer/songwriter in her own right. I recommend checking her tunes out here.
Thanks to the power of the Internet, occasionally I find some great music.
Apparently, there's some in Seattle:
This is an amazing blend of the beautiful and delicate, with a sort of grandiosity. Do yourself a favor and watch the whole 11 minutes. Really nice, simple use of electronics. Something that is really important for me in the use of electronics with acoustic instruments is a sense of composition and balance, which this--for me--demonstrates perfectly.
The tenor sax/drums combo reminded me of another duo that played here in Madison recently, at a concert presented by Surrounded by Reality, that I was lucky enough to be at. The perpetually skronky Patrick Breiner played an improvised set with the stellar Chicago drummer Tim Daisy.
Pretty different, content-wise, but also a really tasty blend of the tenor sax and drums. A good sound world to spend some time in.
Getting excited to perform Stravinsky's L'histoire du Soldat later this month! Tuesday, April 26th, 11am, in Mills Hall at the University of Wisconsin, Madison.
I've gotten so excited I drew a poster for the recital:
Any excuse to draw a grinning devil is a valid one.
We're also playing Bach's Brandenburg No. 2 (as you can see), which will be rather fun as well.
I send emails occasionally about upcoming performances. They're very cordial.
mine, all mine! records
Surrounded by Reality